I’m pleased to announce that the thunderforest.transport-v2 vector tileset is now available, and is a recommended upgrade for everyone who has been using our thunderforest.transport-v1 vector tileset.

In this release, notable additions include adding aerialway information, so you can show chairlifts, gondolas and cable cars on your maps. These are often used as transport in ski areas, but are also used elsewhere for public transport like in Medellín, Colombia. We’ve added details to the airport labels, so that you can show the name along with the 3-letter IATA code, like LHR for London Heathrow and SFO for San Francisco. For really detailed aviation styles, we also have the four-letter ICAO codes available too (like EGLL or KSFO). There’s more information available for different classifications of railways, and improved positioning information for railway platform labels. We’ve added more details to the wetland layer, more types of boundaries to the admin layer, and more details used for harbours and ports to the water-feature layer.

The Metrocable system in Medellín has cable cars above houses and tropical forest
Not just for skiers - the Metrocable system in Medellín.

The rest of the changes are mostly of an incremental nature, and are aimed at making it easier to build map styles using our vector tiles. For example, we’ve switched to using ocean polygons instead of land polygons. This works better in some cartographic edge-cases, and it’s also what we already use in the thunderforest.outdoors-v2 vector tileset, so it’s nice to be consistent for people using both tilesets. Many of the layers have been renamed, again to improve consistency, such as standardising on singular layer names, use -label suffixes instead of -text, and making the layer names easier to understand (like renaming ne-10m-admin-1-lines to state-line)! Further simplifications have been gained by combining similar layers, so we now have only one layer for place labels, and one layer for railway stations, since the legacy reasons for having multiple layers are no longer necessary.

Behind the scenes, the whole technology stack that creates the thunderforest.transport-v2 tileset has been completely updated, with new versions of the underlying database, new update processing, updated software used to generate the vector tiles, and it also uses the latest version of the vector tiles specification. So I’m very happy with the results of this project, and I look forward to hearing what you think too.

Full documentation for this tileset and for our Vector Maps API are available. If you haven’t done so already you can sign up for your Thunderforest account today - and if your project doesn’t currently need vector tiles, then check out our Map Tiles API for our high-performance pre-rendered map options.